As we head into the new year, it’s time to start thinking about your future, but choosing the right career can be tough – especially when you have no idea where to even begin! While some people are still a little unsure of what they want to be (which is totally okay, by the way), others already have their hearts set on their ultimate dream job. No matter which side you’re on, it’s still important to understand a few things about yourself before you make the big leap. And with so many interesting jobs out there, can you really afford not to shop around a little first?
Jenny Findlay, Trust Manager at Peermont Hotels, Casinos and Resorts in charge of overseeing Peermont’s educational programmes and CSI initiatives, shares these six questions to ask yourself before deciding on which career you want to pursue. Grab a pen and a piece of paper, write down your answers, and discuss them with your teacher, a parent or the guidance counsellor at your school to help you make a mature, well-informed decision.
- What are my interests?
Always remember that everyone is different – we all like different things, and just because your best friend is interested in a career in medicine doesn’t mean you have to be too. Take a moment to write down a few things you enjoy, whether it’s reading, playing video games, socialising or even taking photographs on your phone – there’s no right or wrong answer. Knowing what your own unique interests are will help you to understand which careers suit your personality, or those that you probably won’t enjoy all that much.
- What are my skills?
Some people are better at English and EMS than they are at Maths and Science, while others are more suited to the sports field than a classroom. It’s important to understand what sets you apart from everyone else before choosing a career, because the last thing you want to do is end up in a job that makes you miserable, right? Write down a few of your hobbies and talents, including things you enjoy doing as well as skills that come naturally to you. This could include anything from playing and instrument to cooking and baking for your loved ones. Use this list to find out more about your career options.
2. What are my options?
Now that you’ve identified your interests and strengths, it’s time to do some desktop research into the many jobs that are best suited to your unique profile. Try to find careers that line up with what you enjoy – for example, consider taking a chef course if you enjoy cooking, or look at joining the hospitality industry if you’re “people’s person” who likes socialising and entertaining others.
3. Do I know what I’m getting myself into?
The best way to find out more the career you want to pursue is to get real-life, on-the-job experience. You can do this by creating a CV and applying for internships and job shadow opportunities during school holidays. Many companies and institutions offer these types of temporary jobs to help young people get a foot in the door and gain valuable experience by working with others in their chosen field, so it’s a good idea to check company websites and Facebook pages, as well as have a look at community noticeboards to see if there are any opportunities for you.
4. Do I need a qualification?
Many career paths require you to have some sort of tertiary education or formal training – even if you’re just applying for an entry level position – to ensure you understand at least the basic requirements of the job you’re after. For those who would like to pursue a career in the hospitality industry, you’ll probably need training before a hotel or restaurant will offer you a position. And while this can be expensive, there are lots of opportunities out there to get your studies funded for free. Peermont Hotel School, for example, sponsors deserving youth in Ekurhuleni to complete a short course under the industry’s most talented professionals. Peermont also offers a range of bursaries and internships to deserving youth in areas where they have a business unit, to support them in achieving their dreams.